The long awaited summer season has just arrived and we had the opportunity to attend one of the biggest dance music festivals in Portugal: RFM Somnii.
In fact, on this review we will tell you our experience throughout the entire event, bring out all the good and bad parts and mention some things that surprised us, so prepare to enter the festival and see it as we did. We will refer the good things with ‘GOOD’, the not so good things with ‘CBB’ (could be better) and the bad things with ‘BAD’.
Well, Somnii started Friday, July the 5th but we wanted to enjoy it as much as we could, so we arrived a day early and went straight to the campsite. We got there at 7 p.m. and we came across a line of 100-150 people trying to get in. We thought to ourselves ‘They’re just checking the tickets and luggage, we’ll be inside in no time, 45 minutes MAX’.
Looking back, all we can do is laugh. We took more than 3 hours to get in and were only able to settle our tents around 10:30 p.m., in the dark, in a rush to get something to eat as we were starving from all that time standing at the Campsite entrance. PLEASE NOTE: we can’t entirely blame the organization as they were doing their job as fast as they could, but some people didn’t have their ticket on hands and had to email the organization the thing in question. Summing up: 3 hours to get in, over nothing. Once inside, we got a nice spot, near an electricity source, grabbed something to eat and went on to enjoy the night in Figueira da Foz. BAD
DAY 1 – Friday
Waking up on Friday, all we thought about was on going to the beach, standing in front of the mainstage, jumping up and down as were on the edge of listening to the sounds of Zanova, Vigel, Fedde Le Grand, Afrojack, Alesso and Radical Redemption.
Well, this was a special day as it was the only one of the entire weekend that only brought out dance music artists on the main stage. The attention was headed to Alesso (which you could easily feel as the hype grew exponentially during daytime), however, the party started early with Zanova welcoming the ravers, with a slightly commercial but electrifying set, empowering the crowd to jump and dance. During her set, she presented her brand new collaboration with the Portuguese duo Karetus and both of them joined her on stage and surprised the beach with a powerful drop.
The first big moment of the day arrived with the entrance of Afrojack who presented himself with a slightly odd “Good morning Portugal” joined by his MC, who interacted a lot with the present public. The energy is something that characterizes the sets of the Dutch DJ and that left the public quite excited reacting well to the requests of Afrojack. Overall, it was a pretty decent set and everyone seemed to enjoy it as much as they could.
Then we had the performance of Vigel who made his debut on Portuguese land and he was actually one of the good surprises of this year’s edition! He began the set with “Guangzhou” and from there it was without shame that he pulled by the public and made the “Golden Hour” quite interesting. If you’re reading this, really amazing job you did there, Vigel! GOOD
Later on, Fedde Le Grand took over the decks and what could have easily been one of the brightest moments of the entire festival, turned out to be less than expected, not to say a little bit disappointing. He probably went for a safe play and didn’t really surprise us with his set. SIDE NOTE: It was still a great one, just not as surprising as so many others we’ve seen. CBB
Finally came the highlight of the day with the performance of Alesso, something that was long awaited by fans. With incredible visuals and a set of lights and effects that perfectly fit each and every moment, Alesso did some magic and perfectly mixed his greatest classics with his newest songs, even evolving into a darker and heavier progressive house during the set. It really took us into a ride and lead somewhere we were really not expecting during an Alesso show, due to his latest radio releases. This one was a big positive. GOOD
To end a glorious day in the venue, Radical Redemption also performed with his Hardstyle / Raw-Style destroyed the stage and still with quite a good amount of people watching his performance. A different style that was present in the event, however, one of the most surprising! Be bold and bring us more stuff like this, RFM Somnii! GOOD
After the event there were 3 after parties: one at the Casino (VIP only), one at the NB Club (Somnii attendees only) and a final one near the venue entrance where everyone was free to join in.
Well, on the first day, we went on and supported our national talent! On the one hand, the Portuguese duo Mayze X Faria kicked off the night with their brilliant tech/groove house sounds and Corey James wrapped up the first of three special days with an amazing set. On the other hand, there must have been a flaw on the organization’s plan as both performances were far from full and they both deserved the double (not to say triple) the attendance they had. Maybe because it started before the mainstage ended, maybe because they could have promoted it any other way… For this reason only: CBB.
Day one has come to an end, memories were created and some rest was needed.
DAY 2 – Saturday
Saturday had come and we had mixed feelings about this one. We were thrilled as we were about to see live Magnificence, Netsky, DJ Snake and more, but we were also pretty angry and hurt about the fact that Ozuna was playing the same day. We’re not saying he’s a bad artist, we’re just saying he’s not a dance music one.
We woke up around 10 p.m. as the sun started hitting our tents and after a five hour nap, we were ready for another day of partying. We got our feet on the mainstage sand and we had an unexpected surprise. Magnificence‘s set was phenomenal. They kicked it off on a deeper tempo, darker progressive, evolving into something that kind of sounded like a Swedish House Mafia show, where the melodies fitted perfectly with the brilliant well known vocals and we only wished there were more people witnessing what we were listening. GOOD
Later on, we were taken back to 2012 with an entertaining performance from the party rock man, Redfoo. There were flying piano zebras, a guy playing drums on stage, a dancing robot, floating balls flying everywhere, his party rock crew, combined with his crazy tunes. He went all the way back to the LMFAO times and even if the sound was horribly mixed (worst sound performance of the entire event, maybe caused by a technical error), people still had a great time. CBB
Then, it was time for Ozuna to take the lead and we were just shocked to see how packed the beach got. People seemed to have enjoyed the show, but we were busy getting some rest all the way in the back, having some quality sleeping time.
The man who followed actually surprised us! Netsky delivered some fresh tunes, some old tunes, some classic tunes and he mainly blew our minds with his bass. Our expectations weren’t that high, but he actually exceeded them. This one will stay in our memory for a really long time and every time we think about it, we just want to go back and relive every moment. GOOD
Then, a Portugal resident came to our assistance – Jay Hardway – and he played a pretty good set. He even presented the crowd with one of Zinko’s (a portuguese producer) best tracks – Rock – together with Stevie Krash and that was definitely a highlight on his show. GOOD
Finally the most waited moment of the day had arrived: DJ Snake was just about to rape everyone’s ears with his contagious energy. He kicked off with brutal energy. The crowd went crazy! Mosh pits, headbangs, sing alongs… all the above were enough to make Snake throw his hands down and say we were the best crowd in Europe. He finished the day with Portugal’s National Anthem and with a great quote: Fuck VIP. GOOD
The night was ending, but we still had some energy left, so we went to Praça RFM and supported once more our talent, portuguese talent. This time, we had Francisco Cunha in our minds. This time the organization waited for the show on the mainstage to end and only then started the festivities at the after party (smart move RFM Somnii). The venue got packed fast and Francisco delivered a big boys set. We were waiting for ‘For Life’ since the beginning and when he started playing it, we went off! Pure goosebumps.
After the amazing time we had, we went straight to the city centre and we were about to enter the night of Figueira. In fact, the portuguese duo MIDIKLØRYAN had organized their own after-party event and it was definitely a success! It featured a 100% portuguese lineup, with names such as Macbass, Alex T and Khamix and it was packed from night till dawn! These were probably the biggest independent after parties of the whole weekend and it deserves the organization’s attention next year.
This duo has just released their brand new single on Symphonik Records – Nothing Changed – and it totally combines the essence of future house (their main production genre) with beautiful lyrics and amazing vocals. MIDIKLØRYAN aren’t stopping anytime soon, so keep a close eye on them!
Day 2 had come to an end and we couldn’t be happier.
DAY 3 – Sunday
Good things always come to an end and this weekend was no exception. We woke up on Somnii’s final day and in spite of being sad as it was coming to an end, we were super excited as we knew we were on the edge of seeing Don Diablo and Third Party live.
We finally arrived at the last day of RFM Somnii and even though we weren’t completely happy about the lineup, the DJs we were thrilled to see, outdid themselves and actually exceeded our expectations. Feeling and knowing this dance music paradise was coming to an end, we went to the last day with our whole heart.
Like the previous days we decided to go to the venue earlier than usual and enjoy the day to the fullest, and when we arrived at the venue we came across the big set of Lost Kings, who, in spite of not having a big crowd in sight, gave their whole body and soul to the festival and from Progressive, Future Bass and even Dubstep they delivered a surprising gig! It was undoubtedly a pleasant surprise and hopefully they will one day come back to Portugal. GOOD
Jonas Blue was the follower and introduced a reasonable set, nothing out of this world, showed all his hits that launched him into the world of electronic music, something quite commercial. CBB
Then, the unexpected happened. James Hype took over the decks and we witnessed something beautiful. The mainstage was packed to one hour of tech house and what a set it was. From old classics, to new unknown tracks, to some of his very own records, James really put some effort into this and with his crazy live mashups, we went mad! This was probably one of the best moments of the entire weekend. Thank you, James! GOOD
After these good performances, here comes once again one of the novelties of the festival, which was to have a hip-hop artist on the main stage, something that we never thought would happen, but it turned out to be something very real. It was at this point that we decided to go out to dinner and recharge batteries while Tyga was on, which worked about 40 minutes. After this moment of pause that fueled us up with energy, it followed the moment of the night: Don Diablo‘s set.
This was a big moment for all Hexagonians present at the festival. In fact, this was probably his best performance ever in Portugal. He played all his classics, he played his classics remixed into new versions, he played brand new tracks and he even filmed the official video for his next single there (which you can listen on the following video)! He went from Future House to Hardstyle in a heartbeat and the crowd went completely nuts! This was the perfect pre closing for RFM Somnii. GOOD
After an incredible set of Don Diablo, another gigantic moment came along and Third Party debuted their show LIIIVE. With a privileged front-line view, we had no trouble observing one of the best electronic music duos to fill the hearts of all the fans who were anxiously awaiting them. “Together” was the first song to be played by the duo that spread magic for 1h15. One of the best sets, without any doubt, that we had the privilege of watching and it was truly amazing and heartfelt. GOOD
RFM Somnii was over and we actually were speechless on how it ended. We couldn’t ask for a better ending and we almost forgot our hesitations towards the lineup and everything that we were disappointed about the festival. We laughed, we jumped, we danced, we cried.
‘We Came. We Raved. We Loved.’
See you next year, RFM Somnii!
Written by: André Almeida and Pedro Pedrosa